Megan Fox, Evolution Exhibit “Auditer”

Megan Fox is the apparent evolution-denier who “debunked” a science exhibit at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History and posted the video on YouTube.

In a long, far-ranging, and sometimes infuriating interview, we talked about the reactions to her “audit” videos, whether her gender plays a role in the backlash, and why she doesn’t consider herself a Creationist.

We also discussed why she believes not censoring the Internet in a local library’s adult section sanctions “taxpayer funded access to child porn.” (In response to her battle with the Orland Park Public Library, readers of this site raised nearly $7,000 for the library’s general fund.)

Notes:

Here’s a link to Lindy West‘s story on This American Life.

Here are a couple of the articles the Chicago Tribune wrote about Fox’s battle with the library. However, Fox believes that these articles tell a more honest version of the events.

You can also see Fox’s video of our conversation beginning here (other parts to follow).

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15 Comments

  • Reply R. Marc April 19, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    Wow. The Megan Fox interview I had to stop listening with 75 min left, I’ll try to pick it up later. I’m quite amazed you kept your composure (perhaps you blow up later, but I’m assuming not). I do disagree with what you said about her which initiated this exchange, not because of the content, but that she obviously loves her children and there is much worse being done to children in the name of religion in this country. Her views aren’t likely to create hateful sociopaths, just under educated and less competitive once they are released into general society; which is bad for them, but not for society at large. Also they could easily recover from this deficit with effort (young minds are very plastic).

    • Reply BracesForImpact April 21, 2015 at 9:47 am

      Wow. That interview was infuriating and props to Hemant for keeping his composure. There is no justification for the threats this woman has received from to herself or her family. In listening to the podcast, I tried to be charitable because this woman has been through a lot of unfair abuse, but the ignorance, condescension and arrogance comes roaring out, and she can barely maintain her stability.

      I think she’s confusing the unfair criticism of her personally with the very appropriate criticism of her ideas, and the abuse she has received has just justified her thinking and cemented her views in her mind.

      I attempted to be patient with her, but she seems so petty at times, whining about the museum being under construction for some time, for example.

      I think the secular community has missed an opportunity here. Had we handled this better we could have made some great points, but instead this poor woman just got a tremendous amount of abuse, and it seems pretty obvious to me that she’ll just be awash in her views from now on, virtually untouchable because of the (understandable) anger she has broiling just under the surface.

      Yes she has a very disagreeable attitude in the video, and to me, she has a very unlikable personality in general. It is the type of condescension that provokes anger in those that know better, but that doesn’t excuse the treatment she received.

  • Reply Robert April 19, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    Only 30min in to the podcast and I’m yelling at my monitor because of this ignorant woman. She gets so many things wrong but because she was never taught how things work in science she doesn’t even understand how wrong she is.

    Then she makes the whole hate against her dumb video to be some misogynistic anti-feminist rage. We don’t care that you are a woman stating your opinion. It’s that you are stating your opinion so confidently when you are obviously wrong. You could have been an old white man and we would have been just as disgruntled at your ignorance.

    She also blames it on porn. LOL Really? Hahaha! Holy shit this woman is so delusional.

    • Reply Brian Kemp April 20, 2015 at 7:49 pm

      “Then she makes the whole hate against her dumb video to be some misogynistic anti-feminist rage.”

      That attitude seems to be very contagious as of late.

  • Reply Jim Hicks April 19, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    Hemant, thanks for a wonderful interview and Great Thanks to Megan Fox for coming on. While I strongly disagree with most of what she says, it is really important to hear “the other side,” and to hear things that challenge our entrenchment. I think she and you hit the nail on the head when talking about how social media depersonalizes the people involved, as evidenced by her treatment. I wish we could distance ourselves from the element of (our?) community that threatens her or her family.

    Thanks for keeping the polite heat on her. She is absolutely entitled to speak her mind, but she is not exempt from criticism of her viewpoints. She has no sense of false equivalency in regards to the disagreement between ID and evolutionists, and her use of straw men and assertion of antifeminist agendas (“I’m a woman speaking loudly”) was close to offensive. Thanks for not letting that stuff slide.

    As long as the country is largely Christian, we need to have more dialogues like this. I appreciate you both participating in this conversation and setting the tone.

  • Reply Dan Kleinman of SafeLibraries April 19, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    I am listening to the audio now. It is long. But that is one reason why it is remarkable.

    First of all you sit down with Megan Fox whom you have strongly opposed to the point of steering $7000 to the Orland Park Public Library, a library that has for years allowed and covered up child pornography and still does despite claims otherwise; I understand you were not aware of that as you believed the false information from the library intended to perpetuate the availability of child pornography. You have a back and forth with her, and in depth.

    In addition, your conversation with her is, well, friendly. Cordial. Interested in honest debate.

    And your long interview and podcast provides full context and accurately reports exactly what both of you said.

    Obvious, right?

    Contrast your 1) willingness to speak with Megan Fox, 2) in a friendly fashion, 3) for a long period of time, and 4) accurate reporting with library media including Library Journal and American Library Association’s American Libraries monthly membership magazine.

    Library media refuses to write stories about those from whom it receives criticism. In the rare instances it does, it is a tiny snippet, and it distorts what we say, including even changing quotes to cast the speakers in a worse light. The American Library Association actually teaches “Don’t mention the other side by name, either personal or corporate.”

    So, Hemant Mehta, with your extensive and cordial interview of Megan Fox, you have trumped librarians on free speech they supposedly protect, but really they only protect their own. You get from me tons of cred for doing that, for being open, honest, and fair.

    It’s completely the opposite of how American Library Association treats those who disagree with its policies and practices. Heck ALA would not even allow Megan Fox’s co-whistleblower Kevin DuJan into an open public meeting where the Orland Park Public Library was awarded for protecting the “intellectual freedom” of maintaining access to child pornography via a means found to have been a criminal violation of the law by the Illinois Attorney General.

    So, again, bravo, Hemant Mehta. And the result is a better understanding of the subject matter and perhaps even a forming of a friendship with Mrs. Fox?

    So now I’ll listen to the rest of the recording. Well done, Hemant Mehta.

    For those interested in just the Orland Park Public Library material, look around the 35 minute mark.

  • Reply Cousin Avi April 19, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    The right to free speech does not protect anyone from the consequences of saying stupid things.
    When one makes public statements, one gets public responses. No one is obligated to be polite.

    If you don’t like what people say in response to stunning, obtuse stupidity, then stop saying obtusely stupid things in public.

  • Reply Cousin Avi April 19, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    The laundry list of things this idiot gets completely wrong and about which she is absolutely certain is mind boggling.
    Telling her she’s wrong is sexist; if she says crazy things, it’s misogyny; if she gets simple facts completely inverted, it’s a cult of scientists silencing dissent.
    She has the notion that because she’s entitled to her own opinion that makes her opinion as valuable as any other. I have never heard a more perfect example of the Dunning-Kruger Effec – too stupid to know how stupid she is and absolutely convinced she knows what she’s talking about.

  • Reply Steve S. April 20, 2015 at 6:38 am

    Love your show, but you should avoid this type of interview. Like me you are too nice and too willing to compromise/see both sides even when the other person isn’t. In this case that really worked against you. Just because she claimed to also teach her kids evolution you gave her the benefit of the doubt and apologized for your words but not your intent. Your words were fine, and it is clear from her video that any exposure she gives her kids to evolution is in a negative light. She is well spoken but also a deeply ignorant. Her views are not open to revision no matter how baseless they are and she just dodged your questions while interrupting and overwhelming you. Sorry, but you should leave these to others as she is going to be trumpeting a “win”.

  • Reply Don in VA April 20, 2015 at 8:27 am

    Wow. Every criticism of her ideas is swiped away as misogyny. I almost stopped listening when she asked “would you call a man crazy?” but I persevered. Now I’m at the part where she’s criticizing a woman for wearing red more than once. She is capable of raising valid concerns, but then jumps off the track and goes to crazy town.

  • Reply Britt Winslow April 20, 2015 at 11:39 pm

    Hemant, thanks for the Megan Fox interview. I have watched her Field Museum “audit” and like countless others I did not agree with her views. While listening to the podcast I almost instantly arrived at the same high level of frustration as she made poor argument after poor argument. Full disclosure, I am a white, middle age, openly secular man, so I am aware that any criticism I make will be written off as misogyny by Ms. Fox, even though that could not be further from the truth.

    I do not believe I can offer a new perspective on why I believe Ms. Fox is wrong. That bell has been rung countless times by people much smarter than me. However, when I look at what she says and supposedly stands for, I almost feel sorry for her that she cannot see why she is not better received. Personally, if I say something and it is wrong, I want to know about it so I can correct it. More importantly, if I say something in a manner that is not well received I definitely want to be made aware of it so that I can represent my view in the best possible light, even if that means using a tone that is more gentle than I feel necessary. I do not think Ms. Fox feels the same way about her messages or how they are delivered. Would I think differently if Ms. Fox was Mr. Fox? No. Would I think differently if Ms. Fox was an Atheist? No.

    There are far too many people who agree with my world view and who are white males who sound just like Ms. Fox and in some instances even worse. I cringe the same way when I hear them project my beliefs across the Internet and I shake my head in the same frustrated disgust. I am not ashamed to admit that I do find a little joy in the fact that Ms. Fox has plenty of men and women from all races and religions who sound just as ridiculous as she does on the very same topics she is so passionate about. But at the same time I wish someone from Ms. Fox’s side of the argument could present himself and/or herself in a manner that at the very least gave us a reason to think for a moment. Maybe I’m just too set in my ways.

    Thanks for the forum to post a comment. I’m off to eat a baby, watch some porn and then grab a night cap with Satan. Gotta keep my pimp hand strong.

  • Reply Erin W April 21, 2015 at 11:25 am

    Good gravy. Someone studied at the Bill O’Reilly school of interviewing. If you don’t have the facts on your side, pound the table.

  • Reply AtheismTV April 21, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    She’s making good points. If someone was watching child porn I’d be also pissed.

    Some of the methods she employs are bad though.

    I would also love to hear the other side of this story.

    And of course I’m saying that because she’s a WOMAN and NOT because she might be wrong! Jk.

  • Reply mjones April 22, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    not even 15 minutes in, and after (and during) all her allegations about misogyny, etc… she makes a joke about not being able to pronounce a word because she’s “blonde” and “has big boobs”. WTH?

    I’m appalled by the threats and other nasty responses to her, but sheesh. Infuriating, indeed.

    • Reply Ian January 2, 2016 at 12:48 pm

      This part absolutely stunned me. I expected crazy from the moment I realized who this was (I binge listen on autoplay while doing something else, so I didn’t see the written intro), but all this talk of “they just think what I’m saying is stupid because I’m a woman” followed up with this little bombshell of “I’m a feminine woman, you’re supposed to think less of my intellect as is proper” was just… wow.

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